Governor McKee says existing tools allow him to speak to Omicron

Saturday, November 27, 2021

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Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. PHOTO: GoLocal

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee said the emergency order already in place to fight the pandemic – which was originally issued by former Governor Gina Raimondo in the spring of 2020 – gives her the powers to fight against the Omicron variant.

Globally, public health experts have raised significant concerns and travel restrictions have been put in place due to the fast-growing strain first detected in South Africa.

“Rhode Island currently has an active COVID-19 Executive Order. Due to high vaccination rates, additional hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients is not required at this time. Further actions will be considered as we work closely with the Department of Health and communicate with federal partners, ”McKee’s office said Saturday.


“The governor’s office and the Rhode Island Department of Health are closely monitoring developments in the Omicron variant. No case has been identified in Rhode Island to date. State health labs are currently performing genomic monitoring on samples, which would identify the Omicron variant, ”the office continued.

Growing global concerns

Euronews reports that Omicron has now been detected in a number of countries.

“The UK has reported two confirmed cases which, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, were ‘linked and there is a link with travel to southern Africa,’” Euronews reported.

Infections from the new variant, which preliminary evidence suggests may be highly transmissible and more resistant to current treatments, including vaccines, have prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tighten entry requirements.

“” We are not going to stop people from traveling, but we will require anyone entering the UK to take a PCR test before the end of the second day after arrival and self-isolate until they are have a negative result, “Johnson told a press conference on Saturday afternoon,” according to Euronews.

The Times of Israel reports that a senior South African government health advisor says the response is overblown.

“reports the Times and Israel.

“I think we can be quite comfortable… that the vaccine will always prevent serious illness,” he said. “That I think we’re pretty sure about. How effective it will be in preventing milder illnesses – which we have yet to understand, ”according to the Times.

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